Ex-hostages say suspect in Belgian deaths was their jailer

Ex-hostages say suspect in Belgian deaths was their jailer
A policeman checks the accused box prior the start of the trial of Mehdi Nemmouche at the Justice Palace in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Nemmouche, 33, is charged with gunning down an Israeli couple and two museum workers with a revolver and an assault rifle on May 24, 2014. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Two journalists who were held hostage in Syria say one of their jailers was a man now on trial for the shooting deaths of four people at a Belgian Jewish museum.

They told a court in Brussels on Thursday that the defendant, Mehdi Nemmouche, hated Jews and Shiite Muslims, beat them and bragged of torturing his captives.

French journalist Nicolas Henin was a hostage for more than 10 months between 2013 and 2014.

He described the 33-year-old Nemmouche as “a sadistic man, full of hate and particularly full of hate against Jews but also Shiites.”

Nemmouche is charged with “terrorist murder” in the killings of an Israeli couple and two employees at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014. The Frenchman’s alleged accomplice, Nacer Bendrer, also on trial.